Like the beautiful Iris, they stand tall and proud.  They are our mothers.

They care for their children and families, offer encouragement and praise, and often read stories to a child sitting on their lap.  They prepare a child’s favorite dish, bake a birthday cake, or make an award-winning banana pudding.

They pick up their children after school, ball practice, or band rehearsals.  They drop their children off for piano lessons, dental appointments, or Bible School.  They help make a science project, mend a cheerleading uniform, and make cookies for a school party.   A mother’s touch and kiss can almost instantly heal a hurt.

They attend PTA meetings; deliver Girl Scout cookies; keep the laundry baskets emptied; and keep closets full of clean, neatly pressed clothes.  Their dedication keeps our country strong by helping build character, self-esteem, and confidence in America’s greatest resource—her children.

In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, I thought of mothers in their eighties and nineties who now bless their children in other ways.  I was touched to learn of a brave, young mother battling cancer and another who has adopted an infant addicted to drugs.  The paths that mothers walk may differ, but the work they do is unmatched.  In future columns, Focus readers will meet some wonderful mothers in our neighborhoods.

With its quiet beauty reflecting elegance and grace, Tennessee’s state flower—the Iris–blooms just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day.  May we celebrate mothers who are living and those who have passed on.  Mothers are truly special, and the Bible commands us to respect them:  “Honor thy father and thy mother. . .” Exodus 20:12 KJV.